I’ve never been a fan of studies of the seven deadly sins. I did purchase the New York Public Library series since it had two of my favorite authors, Phyllis Tickle and Joseph Epstein. Recently I got a book in the mail and when I saw the title “Seven” I thought, “Here we go again.” No, it is not here we go again. Jeff Cook, in Seven: The Deadly Sins and the Beatitudes
, uniquely and eloquently combines the seven deadly sins with the seven beatitudes.
What Seven does is combine something we need to repent from with
something we need as a virtue. Instead of leaving a person feeling
guilty, as so many of the studies of the seven deadlies do, this book
stiff arms us a bit and then points us to the way of Jesus.
I recommend this book for church small groups, for college groups
interested in exploring Christian morality, and to anyone who needs a
good reminder of our moral calling. The prose is gentle and informed
and accessible; the quotes very good; the stories exceptional.
Notice how he puts them together:
Pride and the poor in spirit
Envy and the mourner
Sloth and those who hunger for a life made right
Greed and the mercy giver
Lust and the pure of heart
Wrath and the meek peacemaker
Gluttony and the persecuted